Perhaps owing to the success of remote work platforms and different online marketplaces, more small and medium enterprises are considering hiring remote talent than in-house.
The cost-saving effect of this kind of arrangement is informing this decision. After all, when you hire remotely, you do not need to find space, buy equipment, offer retirement benefits and other perks that come with hiring in-house.
In the past, small businesses used to hire copywriters, graphic designers, and other similar small roles remotely. Today, you can hire a fully dedicated development team remotely. That is how advanced remote work has become.
But while remote work has recorded resounding success over the last two decades, there are some barriers that you have to actively address.
They come in their hundreds but here, you will see the most outstanding ones. They are:
1. Miscommunication or total lack of communication
Do you know the adage - out of sight out of mind? It is one of the things bedeviling workplace communication when you have a remote team.
If you get too busy at work, you might forget to communicate with your remote workers on time.
Poor communication is going to affect productivity in a big way. Up and down flow of communication is the main driver of success and productivity for your in-house and remote employees.
Solution: If the remote worker is in your time zone, communicate every morning, or at least once a day, when both of you are available. Invest in premium communication software and apps such as Slack, Trello, and others, because of their automation features.
2. Poor productivity
Remote employees do not have a “boss breathing down their neck.” As such, their productivity can decrease.
Compared to the in-house worker, you will always find that the remote worker is failing to meet deadlines on time.
Solution: As an employer, you must communicate your expectations clearly to the remote team. If possible, you must outline the daily deliverables. If something happens and the remote team cannot deliver properly, they should communicate in good time.
In this case, to mis-hire means to hire wrongly. Most CEOs and managers do this thinking they are saving money, as they do not want to engage the services of a remote team recruitment or consultancy company.
If you want a remote team that you can work with for a long time, let a company that specializes in managing remote teams recruit one for you.
It is possible for people to misrepresent themselves as experts when they are quacks. If you make the mis-hiring mistake when putting together an IT team, your projects will take off on the wrong footing. This will affect the deliverables a great deal.
Solution: For professional work such as software development, let a company that manages remote development workers find the qualified people for you. They know what skills to look for.
4. Technical hitches arise all the time
On your side as the employer, there won’t be many hitches because you have a team on standby. They will fix anything that might go wrong.
But the remote worker can experience different types of hitches. Before hiring, you can ask the remote team whether they have a technical team backing them up.
If you are outsourcing a big IT project, having a technician on standby should be a requirement. When you are working with a freelancer in another continent, there could be electricity issues.
Solution: Alternatively, you can let an organization that manages remote teams handle them for you. That way, you can concentrate on other aspects of your business. Also, assign work ahead of the due time so that there can be room to accommodate technical hitches.
5. Working in different time zones
Imagine working with a remote team based in another continent. When it is day in your country, it is night in theirs.
This can cause serious communication challenges since it will be hard to get email replies immediately.
Sometimes, urgent matters will arise, which cannot wait until the following day. If this happens while you are in different time zones with your remote workers, communication delays might ruin everything.
Solution: If it is a team, you can insist that there be at least one person on standby when it is nighttime in their place. If you are working with one person, you can set the hours you will be communicating, every day.
6. Remote workers do not understand your company culture
Company culture is a set of core values, standards, beliefs and behaviors that drive teamwork, productivity, growth, and customer support.
The company values become ingrained in the in-house workers over time. However, remote workers might never catch on, until they interact with you in person.
Solution: While it will be hard to get them to operate on the same pedestal as the in-house team, you can still train them on the core values that drive your organization.
Despite all the challenges that remote work faces, it is fast becoming the norm of the day. The coming of the COVID-19 pandemic showed CEOs and managers that remote work is possible.
Today, remote work is possible even when spanning different continents. The paid-for communication tools, chat room software for monitoring remote work make this possible.
Now that you have identified the common barriers to successful remote work, you can straighten them out the best way possible so that work can flow smoothly.